You are driving from Columbia, South Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia, for a business meeting. You are on Interstate 20, north of Augusta, when another car swerves in front of you. You brake but can’t avoid a collision. Your seat belt saves you from serious harm, but your neck hurts. Your car is a wreck, and there is no way you will get to your meeting.
The other driver admits responsibility. Witnesses are clear that you were not to blame. It seems to be a clear-cut case. You may assume it makes the most sense to represent yourself. However, there can be obstacles in seemingly simple cases. Let’s look at the reasons why you might go it alone or why you may choose to hire legal help.
Why You Might Make Your Own Claim
Below are reasons you may want to pursue a claim alone.
Legal fees are the main reason why people represent themselves in accident cases. They think they will save a fortune in legal costs. In this case, you will need to know what you are doing to succeed in your claim.
If this is your only reason for representing yourself, it might be the wrong decision. Having a lawyer to counsel and represent you may save you time and trouble in the long run. In addition, many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they don’t collect fees up front.*
They don’t get paid unless you do, and fees come out of your settlement or court award, not your pocket.
You Can’t Find a Lawyer to Take Your Case
There are usually two reasons why a lawyer won’t take a case:
- Your claim is too small
- You do not have a case
It can take time to find the right lawyer, but they are out there and will consider your claim valid and fight for you.
The Other Party Admits Liability
This is true of the accident on Interstate 20. But note that the other driver admitted responsibility at the time. Their insurance company might not share this position, stating their client was under duress and not thinking clearly.
You might be tempted to avoid paying a lawyer in a case as clear as our example. However, not every situation is as clear.
How You Can Benefit from Hiring a Lawyer
Below are reasons to hire a lawyer after an accident.
Lack of Experience
In a car accident case, the other party may have strong representation. The other driver’s insurance company will do their best to show that you were, at least partially, to blame. How can you prove that you weren’t negligent to some degree? If any possibility of an error on your part exists, your compensation might be lower than you expect. A lawyer can ensure you are not wrongly held liable for an accident.
How will you calculate the compensation that you can claim? What is a fair amount? What might you include? A lawyer knows the answers to these and many more questions regarding compensation.
Gathering and presenting evidence for your claim takes time and attention. Do you have the time to spare? You might have other responsibilities and tasks on your plate, and a lawyer whose career focuses on cases like yours will dedicate time to compile evidence and information for your case.
Rules of Evidence Collection and Procedure
Do you know what the rules of evidence are? What is the procedure that you must follow? Fair or not, any mistake that you make will play into the hands of the other party’s legal team.
Most accident cases don’t reach a courtroom. They are settled through negotiation beforehand. Lawyers have training and skills in negotiation and know the best tactics to get you the compensation you deserve.
When handling a claim alone, you might decide that enough is enough and settle for what you think is fair. Remember that insurance companies are not in the business of handing out money. They will pressure you to accept a quick settlement.
This is unlikely to be the full amount that you could get with the help of an attorney. A lawyer will know what a fair settlement looks like and fight for that. Don’t overwhelm yourself by handling a claim alone; you could give up quickly. A lawyer is in it for the long haul and won’t stop working for you until you get the outcome you deserve.
Legal Representation in South Carolina and Georgia
If you are in Georgia or South Carolina, like our driver on Interstate 20, George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can take your car accident case. We build close relationships with our clients and do everything possible to ensure that the client receives fair compensation.
It will help a lawyer if you keep all relevant documentation about your car accident. If you can, collect contact details of witnesses at the scene, take photos, and keep copies of any medical bills. Our firm offers free consultations, so you can ask questions and find out if we’re a good fit for you.
Call Us Today to Get Started on Your Case
You have every right to represent yourself in a car accident case. However, it would be best to think twice before doing so. Deciding to represent yourself because you do not want to spend money on legal fees might prove to be a disaster.
A legal claim is a complicated procedure, and lawyer’s services could benefit you in the long run. Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers at (888) 612-7001 today for your free consultation with a team member. Review our case results to get an idea of what our representation can do for you.